Toyota’s moving Super Bowl commercial, which celebrated the beauty of adoption and the dignity of every life, was among the most talked-about commercials during the big game.
People and CNN are among the various outlets that hailed the ad a success among viewers in Sunday night’s game. And pro-life advocates praised its message, with National Review saying it "affirms the irreplaceable value of each one of us" and Lila Rose of Live Action calling it "beautiful."
The commercial begins by showing a young woman swimming. An adoption agent is then heard on a phone call speaking with a couple about the baby they are hoping to adopt.
“We found a baby girl for your adoption, but there are some things you need to know,” the agent says before telling the couple that the child born in Siberia has a rare condition that will result in the double amputation of her legs.
“I know this is difficult to hear, but her life, it won’t be easy,” the agent says.
As the commercial progresses, the same young lady, who is Jessica Long, is seen swimming in the pool during a competition in front of a large crowd without her lower legs. She eventually arrives at the finish line and turns to smile as her mother agrees to adopt her.
“It might not be easy,” the adoptive mother is heard emotionally saying to the agent, “but it’ll be amazing. I can’t wait to meet her.”
The commercial was honoring the true story of 28-year-old Jessica Long one of the most successful athletes in Paralympic games history. She is a world record holding Paralympic swimmer from Baltimore, Maryland, and has competed at four Paralympic games, winning 23 medals (13 of them gold).
Long was born in Siberia with lower leg anomalies that resulted in her legs being amputated. Five months before the double amputation, at the age of 13 months, she was adopted from the orphanage in Bratsk by Beth and Steve Long, a couple from America.
The young child was sent to a Russian orphanage by her Russian parents. According to The Siberian Times, doctors convinced Long’s teenage birth mother that she should give the baby up for adoption because of her condition, noting that it would be hard to raise her.
Growing up, Long was involved in many sports, including gymnastics, ice skating, biking, trampoline, and swimming, despite her double amputation. But she was most passionate about swimming.
“I have no regrets. I believe it’s all part of God’s plan. I have only love for my mother for what she did,” Long said after meeting her birth mother at age 21.